Pregnancy can include a multitude of experiences. It is remarkable, emotional, delightful and frightening. There is a host of occurrences that can go wrong for both the expectant mother and the child. Because of the possible complications involved in pregnancy, doctors must perform many different tests throughout. Available to the expectant mother is genetic testing which can identify risks of any abnormalities. However, these genetic tests can misidentify a condition or a doctor may make a mistake regarding the results of such a test. These mistakes can lead to the birth of a child who may have mental and physical handicaps. Doctors responsible for genetic testing may be responsible for a lack of informing the prospective parents. Parents can bring suit on behalf of child for their doctor’s misinformation or misidentification. This is called a “wrongful birth” action. However, in some states, a child must bring suit for injuries resulting from the doctor’s misinformation. This is called a “wrongful life” suit. But what is the difference between the two?
What is a Wrongful Birth Lawsuit?
A wrongful birth action is brought by the parent of a child born with an impairment or birth defect. The parents assert that the doctors in charge of genetic testing or informing the parents of the risks of continuing a pregnancy were negligent in performing their duties. In turn, the doctor’s negligence deprived the parents of the right to make a timely decision regarding whether to terminate a pregnancy because of the likelihood their child would be born physically or mentally impaired. The birth defect itself was not the cause of the doctor’s actions, however, the doctor did not fully inform the prospective parents of the risks associated with continuing the pregnancy. See Willis v. Wu
Wrongful Life Lawsuit: What’s the Difference?
A “wrongful life” action is a bit different from a wrongful birth action. A wrongful life action is brought by or on behalf of the child himself. The child asserts that the doctor’s negligence led to his or her parents’ misinformed decision either to conceive him or to terminate the pregnancy. The child is asserting that without the parents having all of the facts and risks provided to them, they could not have made an educated decision, and he or she should not have been born.
Contact an Attorney at Bice Law LLC
If you or a loved one is a parent of a child with special needs in North Carolina or South Carolina, contact an experienced attorney by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or online to schedule a free consultation. An experienced personal injury attorney at Bice Law, LLC knows the relevant laws regarding wrongful birth and wrongful life and will help you to understand the legal process during a difficult time. Our legal professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any questions you may have regarding your possible lawsuit. We are prepared to help you in any way that we can.